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Baltic index down on dim vessel demand

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index fell on Tuesday, recording its steepest fall in over a month on lower rates across all vessel segments.

The Baltic index, which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels that ferry dry bulk commodities, dropped 14 points, or 2.3%, to 603, its biggest daily percentage decline since Feb. 7.

The panamax index declined by 28 points, or 3.6%, to 746, its 12th successive fall.

Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, decreased $254 to $6,714.

The capesize index dipped by a point, to -110, ending a seven-session gain streak.

Iron ore producer Rio Tinto was the latest among other miners across the world that said it would move to slow down operations in response to the rapidly spreading COVID-19 epidemic.

Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000-180,000 tonne cargoes including iron ore and coal, were down by $50 at $4,102.

The supramax index fell 12 points to 720.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru)

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